Beautiful Day

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

California Getaway

Warrior had a work conference in southern California....rough, yes?  And on the beach no less!  How to remedy this sad state?  GO WITH, of course!  It being just a little in advance of our anniversary, it was also opportune time to celebrate the occasion.  How GLAD I am to have had this opportunity!

First up, flying into Santa Barbara.  Can I just say that I LOVE small airports??  So easy to navigate.  And this one is so charming.

It nearly looks like a mission.  And with lemon trees, of course.

We found a place to park near the pier and harbor areas.  We found a quiet and lovely al fresco corner of a restaurant to dine at for dinner.  Then we walked the pier, enjoyed seeing how MANY sailboats there were, and took in this most gorgeous of sunsets!  It's true, that we took the above one with the vivid setting on our camera.  Because it just wasn't quite capturing the color hues.  But it really wasn't too far off from this.  The azure and fuschia-type colors are only my two favorite colors combined!

Ahhhhhh, palm trees.  We decided they just have this thing about them that says "warm" or "vacation" to Northerners.

We ended the day by driving to our hotel in Ventura and getting settled.  As I mentioned, Warrior had to work.  So I had to decide what to fill my day with.  Since we were on Ventura Harbor, the choice was easy--walk the harbor, and find the beach.  My primary goal was to still and quiet my heart with the Lord and refuel my soul at the oceanside--in short, to live and breathe beauty.

It was a charming little village with tons of "toothpicks" sticking up out of the harbor.  So many sailboat masts, that's what they looked like.  The sailing schools for children would line up the little sailboats and they would head out of the harbor.  It would look, sometimes, like Mama sailboat and her babies following along.  It reminded me of our own days of learning to sail on that little sunfish boat on a reservoir in Idaho.  We're a bit out of practice 20-something years later!  But it did look fun!  Too bad there were no one-day sailing lessons.

I oriented myself to the village, and then found this Channel Islands National Park Museum at the end.  I didn't know these islands existed until coming here.  And it looked fun to explore them by hiking or sea kayaking.  As we were there a short time, there was no planning ahead.  And we must not forget we're only an hour out of LA!  Which means any cruises or island excursions are booked long in advance.  We consoled ourselves with the fact that it was cloudier than usual the days we were there, and we decided we wanted to do that when you could actually SEE from the islands (and if a bit warmer, would be nice too!)

My little snapshots of said Channel Islands, on display at the museum.

After meeting up with Warrior and some of his colleagues for lunch at a Greek restaurant, I was off to the beach!  Hurray!  But first....a stop in the shops.  You see, I forgot to pack a couple of essential items.  Those being a beach towel and sunscreen!

The book I took along was Sarah Mae's "Longing for Paris."  Maybe I'll review it sometime.  It arrived just before I left, so I decided it would be a quick read that I could actually accomplish in one trip!  The subtitle says, "One Woman's Search for Joy, Beauty and Adventure Right Where She Is."  That resonates with me, so I thought I would check it out.  Plus, the cover is just lovely :)

It just so happens, there is a delightfully delicious french bakery in the village!  Oh, JOY!  So, I brought my little taste of Paris beachside with my croissant and iced blended mocha.  My croissant is barely peeking out of the bag to keep it out of sight of the seagulls!  I didn't want any intruders.  I think this croissant is one of the best I have ever tasted.  I do have to laugh at myself, though.  I went into the bakery/cafe and asked if they made the pastries right there.  The man in the chef's hat opened his mouth and out came, in his strong French accent, "Yes, everyday, except Mondays." (when they are closed)  That answers that! 

Amidst other experiences, I actually also got to eat at a French country restaurant.  Warrior's colleagues held an after-work dinner there.  Though I was not in-the-know about all the goings-on discussions related to the work project at hand, I did find the discussions interesting and the company intriguing--half of our table (which is 3 out of 6) were from other countries-- Holland, Quebec, and Scotland.  We were so trying to be good and eat small dinners (we weren't that hungry, anyway) that when the waiter asked if anyone would like dessert, we all said, "No, thank you."  As our table was dispersing for the evening and we were trying to figure out how to pay, we were informed that the grant was paying for the dinner.  Needless to say, we were a little bummed that we passed up the opportunity to have a French dessert! :)

One evening we took this walk at sunset toward the pier.  'Twas a bit chilly, so my beach towel doubled as an extra-layer skirt.  The Ventura County Fair was going on, and I guess it's a big one.  We laughed as we listened to the Huey Lewis concert coming down the walkway.  Guess it was that middle-school nostalgia.

A fisherman had caught a little shark off here.  Oh, and I learned that this is one of the biggest squid harbors on the West Coast!  Calamari, anyone?  (Not me, thanks!)

What a place for a county fair!

We watched sunsets every opportunity there was!

When work was over, we did arrange to have one extra day that we could spend together.  When we arrived in California and were looking through those tourist books of what there is to see and do in the area, we discovered that the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library was not far off!  After a leisurely morning and a return trip to that French bakery (tres magnifique!),  we spent the afternoon being greatly inspired by one of the heroes of our lifetime!  Come back next time for a whole post on that experience!

We soaked in the last moments of sunny California beach, bare feet in the sand, with our little breakfast before heading up the highway for our return flight home.  Only us on the beach with surfers in the waves.  We never get tired of this scene.  Ever.

Leaving this entry with a favorite song.  In the quiet morning of a beach run, all alone, it was the perfect opportunity for worship.


1 comment:

  1. Oh yay! You'll review your time at the Reagan library. I'll be looking forward to that!

    Your trip sounds just about absolutely PERFECT! I'm so glad to see all of the pictures and hear the news. The sunsets are stunning, as I'm beginning to think Santa Barbara sunsets always are. :D Absolutely lovely!

    Just listened to the song. I had never heard that before. It does sound like it makes for a great song to run on the beach to.



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